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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I think I've got a charging issue with my '87 900 Turbo; the battery's been dying pretty regularly and it's taken a lot of jump starts over the past week. Knowing that the battery is only about 6 months old, I'm ready to swap the alternator and call it a day, however, knowing that it's a Saab, I thought I should ask the pros.

Here are the recent symptoms: I let the battery charge overnight and it started right up. Drove it to work, and it started up again about 10 hours later without a problem. While it was running I put a multimeter on the leads and got 14V, so all seemed promising. It started up the next morning (a little slow to turn over) and a few hours later it needed a jump.

Like I said, I'm ready, willing and able to pull the alternator, I just to want to be too hasty in my diagnosis. Any help is greatly appreciated. Also, is all that jump-starting in a short period of time bad for a battery?
 

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I guess the first thing I would do is repeat the same, but with one change. Remove the negative batter cable between starts just to be sure that the battery itself is holding a charge.

If you were getting 14 volts while running, I'd think that the alternator is fine. I remember someone once had the problem of the dome lights being on or off due to driver error. The switch on the center console would get bumped to "on" and then back to "off" causing the battery to appear to drain in a not so obvious pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Voltage regulator is a good point. I think I'll pull the battery and get it tested in an effort to eliminate the simple things. If that's good then I'll pull the alternator and test that and go from there.

thanks!
 

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If you're getting 14v with it running, your battery is toast or you have a parasitic drain somewhere. I'd guess battery as even new ones are known to fail.
 

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I concur, it's charging fine. 14 volts is the top end of OK. Get your battery checked. New battery does not mean good battery.
 

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I concur, it's charging fine. 14 volts is the top end of OK. Get your battery checked. New battery does not mean good battery.
I once bought a 900s for $300 in "non-running condition". The owner stated that they thought the battery was bad and replaced it, but the problems persisted. She then just went out and bought a new car instead. I just needed a parts car, so I just bought it regardless. The first thing I did after buying it was check the battery with a multimeter. I discovered that with the battery cables disconnected, there was a short in the battery itself. I replaced the battery, started the car right up and then drove it home! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I concur, it's charging fine. 14 volts is the top end of OK. Get your battery checked. New battery does not mean good battery.
I agree that a new battery isn't necessarily a good battery, but this one lasted almost a year. I would expect it either fail right out of the box or 5-10 years down the road.
 

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I agree that a new battery isn't necessarily a good battery, but this one lasted almost a year. I would expect it either fail right out of the box or 5-10 years down the road.
A substandard battery either in quality or construction will nearly always fail within the first year if it's called upon to deliver. A good reason to pay for a quality battery with a good warrantee of a least 3, 4 or even 5 years. I check mine with a battery checker probably once a year. That way you get a new one before the warrantee expires and you're never stranded. Of course, if your car starts first crank, mine normally do, you never know about the battery 'till it's too late. If you're thinking about a battery checker, one that measures just the voltage is worthless. It needs to put a load across the battery during the check procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A substandard battery either in quality or construction will nearly always fail within the first year if it's called upon to deliver. A good reason to pay for a quality battery with a good warrantee of a least 3, 4 or even 5 years. I check mine with a battery checker probably once a year. That way you get a new one before the warrantee expires and you're never stranded. Of course, if your car starts first crank, mine normally do, you never know about the battery 'till it's too late. If you're thinking about a battery checker, one that measures just the voltage is worthless. It needs to put a load across the battery during the check procedure.
One point for you! I tested the battery and it was in the neighborhood of ~150CCa and wouldn't hold a charge. New battery's been in for about 4 or 5 days without issue.

thanks a lot!
 
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